Can a Master Dissolve the Karma of a Disciple When He Dies?


Can a Guru (like Jesus) dissolve all the karma of a faithful disciple at the time of death (when all karma comes for review) in case the disciple was not able to achieve full liberation before his physical death?

—Mathew, India


Dear Matthew,

Yogananda explains in his Autobiography of a Yogi: “A strong man can assist a weaker one by helping to carry his heavy load; a spiritual superman is able to minimize his disciples’ physical or mental burdens by sharing the karma of their past actions.”

In other words, great Masters like Jesus can indeed take a portion of our karma, but they won’t go against God’s laws of karma. They work with that law, alleviating their disciples karma when they can. But they can’t free us, if we don’t free ourselves.

We read for example, again in the Autobiography of a Yogi, that Lahiri Mahasaya in his previous incarnation died under Babaji’s guidance, because his karma had struck. Babaji told him: “You slipped away and vanished into the tumultuous waves of the life beyond death. The magic wand of your karma touched you, and you were gone!” As we see, not even the great Mahavatar Babaji could or would stop that karma.

In another story from the Autobiography, we read how Babaji took a burning log and burned the shoulder of one of his disciples, whose karma had been to die in a fire: “I have freed you tonight from painful death. The karmic law has been satisfied through your slight suffering by fire.”

As a conclusion: the great Gurus can diminish our karma, but won’t take it from us altogether. Ours is the work. Theirs is the added blessing and help. If your karma is unfinished at death, very probably there will still be some work for you in your next life, until you achieve liberation.

God bless you on your path to Him,